Archive For The “Destinations” Category

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, France

The spectacular cathedral in Strasbourg, France is considered one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in the world. The outside of the huge structure is covered with incredibly complex and ornate sculptures, adding to the splendour. Strasbourg also is known for being the home of several European institutions, including the the headquarters of the…

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Colmar, France

Colmar, France

On the second day of our Rhine River cruise, we visited beautiful Colmar in France’s Alsace region. The city is full of centuries-old half-timbered buildings lining winding cobblestone lanes. And when we were there, the Christmas markets were in full swing with holiday decorations everywhere. Colmar also is notable for being the hometown of Frederic-Auguste…

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Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland

In late December we flew to Basel, Switzerland to embark on a week-long Rhine River cruise back to Amsterdam. Lying just south of the Rhine River border between France and Germany, Basel is the second-largest economic center in the country and the third-highest in population. We arrived mid-morning for a 10pm ship departure and spent…

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2019 Summary

2019 Summary

For us, 2019 was the “Year of the Canal”. We spent much of the year cruising the Baltic Sea, and passed through an incredible 98 locks while transiting several major and minor canal systems, including the Kiel Canal across Germany, the Saimaa Canal through Russia to Finland’s Great Lake Saimaa system, and the Gota and…

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Return to US

Return to US

Following METS, we spent a relatively quiet week in Amsterdam, completing a few boat projects and hosting some visitors. In early December, we returned to the US for a couple of weeks where James spent a week at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas and a couple of days at the AWS data centers…

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METS 2019

METS 2019

METS (Marine Equipment Trade Show), held annually in Amsterdam over three days, is the world’s largest boats and marine equipment trade show. This year’s attendance reached 17,792, with 1,670 exhibitors from around the globe. Exhibitors range from superyacht builders and marine yards, to yacht designers, to engineering and composite products companies, to manufacturers of anything…

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Amsterdam First Two Weeks

Amsterdam First Two Weeks

During our first two weeks in Amsterdam, we enjoyed being back in familiar territory with the city already lit up for the winter. We revisited some of our favourite restaurants, found some new ones, and stocked up on supplies and parts from known vendors. We also completed a fair number of larger boat projects, including…

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Return to Amsterdam

Return to Amsterdam

We normally prefer not to return to the same location, particularly for a long-term stay. But in looking at stop-overs for this winter, where we would make a couple of return trips to the US, we couldn’t find anything that came even close to Amsterdam in terms of marina location, restaurant and entertainment choices, and…

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Flevoland

Flevoland

The 82-ft-long (25m) Veluwemeer Aqueduct, opened in 2002, is one of the shortest in the world. The water bridge carries boats with a draft of up to 9.8 ft (3m) and unlimited air draft over the road connecting mainland Netherlands with the province of Flevoland, the world’s largest man-made island. Other possibilities considered were an…

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Medemblik

Medemblik

Medemblik was a prosperous trading town in 1289 when it was awarded city rights and is the oldest port on the IJsselmeer. It’s a wonderful town to explore, with a fortress dating from its founding and centuries-old houses overlooking historic canals. From Den Helder, we ran 26 miles south to anchor off Andijk, passing through…

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Den Helder

Den Helder

For visitors to the area, Den Helder is best known as the gateway to the island of Texel, the most visited Dutch island in the Wadden Sea. But the long-time military base and former naval shipyard has a number of other attractions. These include the Dutch Navy Museum, the Napoleonic Fort Kijkduin, the Nollen Landscape…

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Dutch Navy Museum

Dutch Navy Museum

Late 20th-century Dutch guided-missile frigates carried a large radar dome housing a revolutionary 3D radar that could measure an object’s distance, direction and height at the same time. The radar had a range of 242 miles (390km) and could track over a hundred targets simultaneously, making it the most powerful radar of its time (1975-2000)….

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Texel

Texel

The island of Texel, with its extensive sandy beaches and abundant wildlife, is the most visited Dutch island in the Wadden Sea. Ferries make the 15-minute crossing north to Texel from Den Helder every half-hour during busy periods. Texel was popular historically as well. Texel Roads, off the southeast coast of the island, was one…

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De Nollen Landscape

De Nollen Landscape

In the 1980s, Dutch artist R.W. van de Wint began an experimental project that became his life’s work. Over the course of 25 years, he created paintings, steel sculptures and large structures amongst old bunkers in the dune area De Nollen in Den Helder. De Nollen was the southern extent of the Fort Dirksz Admiraal,…

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Vlieland to Den Helder

Vlieland to Den Helder

Den Helder is the main naval base for the Royal Netherlands Navy and the harbour is packed with large and imposing naval ships. Within the port is the Royal Netherlands Navy Yacht club, where we stayed for several nights in sight of all the navy ships plus many large commercial and Coast Guard vessels. From…

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Vlieland

Vlieland

The beach Vliehors is an 8-sq-mile (20-sq-km) sandy plain, exposed to the North Sea, along the west side of the Dutch island of Vlieland. The Vliehors Expres carries visitors the length of the beach, leaving wonderful poems in the sand. Or you can visit by bicycle, as we and many others did. Below are trip…

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